The Cherry Diaries: Happy Adoptiversary To Me!

Dear Diary,

Wow, can you believe that this is my fifth adoptiversary with Mommy? It was five years ago to date when she picked me up from the palliative care wing of the animal shelter in Berlin and took me home, my real home. What an adventure it has been so far!

First there were three of us (cats) sharing the apartment with her, then one by one, for whatever reason, the others crossed the rainbow bridge. Champagne crossed over in November 2019, and Lolita in July 2022. So It hasn’t been a full year yet since I have been a solo cat. I have to admit, the change has been disconcerting, but I didn’t have much time to dwell on it. After Lolita’s death, I spent some time with another family while my human sister was travelling (Mommy was already in Portugal). Then in September 2022 I was placed in the flying metal can and moved from Germany to Portugal. Well, you know the rest. Now I am surrounded by all my new friends, have learned all sorts of curious new things (e.g. I get hit then I hit back, or why did the kitty cross the road? To get to the other side!), live in a big house where I still get lost in the dark, but am incredibly happy and at peace.

I wish I could tell Mommy what my life was like before I met her, but the words won’t come out. All she knows is that I arrived with separation anxiety and depression until I learned to accept my new home as my permanent home. I am not going to be abandoned or given away again, that much I know with absolute certainty. I still worry on days when Mommy leaves the house for a whole day, but she always returns. In the human world there is a difference between work day, holiday and shopping day – no clue why humans need all those things, but I am hoping that I get to travel with Mommy for the next holiday, just like Champagne used to.

Mommy is convinced that I was a celebrated ballerina in a past life, based on the way I position my paws from time to time. Personally. I think I led a more adventurous life as a spy, carrying secret documents back and forth between East and West Germany. I am quiet, understand several languages, don’t really stand out in a crowd, and am small enough to be overlooked which means I can easily blend in. Who knows, since we have nine lives anyway, maybe I was both, and then some. Regardless of what my past lives may have been, I have lived a full one and at my ripe old age, I am enjoying my retirement. Sure, I need glasses (but what nose would I prop them on?) and on some days a hearing aid, and winters are no longer as easy to deal like in my youth. My rickety bones struggle with stairs on occasion, but I manage pretty well. Sense of direction is zilch, but hey, that’s because I basically spent this lifetime as a boring indoor cat. Besides, my human can’t read maps, so we are a perfect match!

The big new garden scares me for some reason. I think because the concept of a garden is so alien to me, that I have no idea what I am supposed to do there. The rest of the gang around here loves chilling out there, and even grumpy old Cheddar, the big fat orange cat, will climb the walnut tree and take up his guard position there. I don’t get it, I really don’t. First of all there are far too many steps to go up and down, then I would have to romp around in the soil, ugh, no thanks. That is utterly undignified. Because if I get too dirty then that means a bath, oh horror of horrors!

For those of you who have followed my story since 2018, thank you very much. Some paths were truly meant to cross, and certain travellers destined to journey together. Over the past five years I have learned to give love as well as receive it. In the beginning, I would keep the humans company from a distance. It was Lolita and Champagne who were unafraid to snuggle up and ask for affection. I took what was given to me but with a lot of skepticism. Hugs and cuddles were scary and I pushed everyone away. Now, I march up to Mom and demand cuddles or snuggle up to her on the sofa or the bed.

Communication is a great thing, but so is trust. I trust that she loves me; I trust that she will reassure me; I trust that she will fix things when they go wrong or I don’t understand them. I trust.

As I grow older, and mind you, I am on the wrong side of 15 already, I fall asleep in the middle of conversations, I don’t run that fast anymore, and I can’t clean myself as well as I used to. Mom is there for me, and I reciprocate in kind, keeping her company when she cooks, works, cleans, or watches movies. I make sure she sticks to her schedule and doesn’t deviate from her daily routine, but for the life of me I can’t figure weekends out. Yes, it is my duty, but it is also my way of expressing gratitude.

She didn’t have to take me in, and could have just left me to fall apart in the cold metal cage in the shelter. But we connected from the first moment that our eyes met, and I knew things would be different. My message to all the humans out there is same as all my predecessors – consider adopting an old cat first, or rescuing one who has had a rough life. We old-timers still have love to give and company to share.

Meowingly yours,

Related Entries:

An Angel Crosses the Rainbow Bridge

A Diva Crosses the Rainbow Bridge

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